End of the world?
- Published: 19/12/2012 at 09:51 AM
- Online news:
Not yet said a panel of top Thai scientists at a Chulalongkorn University faculty of science forum yesterday. There is zero evidence the world will end on Friday.
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It almost looks as if National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) scientist Buncha Thanaboonsombat was warning that the world was coming to an end. Actually, he was saying the opposite during his talk at a Chulalongkorn University faculty of science forum yesterday. Photos by PATTARAPONG CHATPATTARASIL
Scientists play down doomsday prophecies
Mayan calendar theory debunked at seminar
Scientists have played down fears that the world will end on Friday, saying no scientific evidence exists to support the forecast.
The scientists met in a forum at Chulalongkorn University's faculty of science yesterday to discuss the prediction, which is based on the Mayan calendar.
The Mayan calendar finishes one of its great cycles this year, which has fuelled theories about the end of the world on Dec 21, 2012.
Physics lecturer Pong Songpong: The solar maximum occurred on October 23. Did you feel anything?
Physics lecturer Pong Songpong said many theories had been spun about what might bring about the apocalypse on Friday, ranging from a solar storm and massive, widespread earthquakes to a geomagnetic disturbance or even a meteor crashing into Earth.
But Mr Pong said none of these theories are backed up by science.
He said people have been worried that a deadly solar storm would be triggered by this year's solar maximum, the period of greatest activity in the Sun's 11-year cycle. However, the solar maximum occurred without incident on Oct 23, Mr Pong said.
"Did you feel anything?" he asked.
"You could still watch television and use the phone. That is because we have developed technology to protect these systems from such solar effects."
In the past, solar storms have damaged electricity and telecommunication systems around the world.
For instance, the whole of Quebec province in Canada suffered a 12-hour blackout as a result of a solar flare in March 1989, and several satellite-based communications systems around the world experienced problems after a July 2000 flare.
National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) scientist Buncha Thanaboonsombat said that while aviation businesses could be affected by solar storms, current technology allows for flares to be predicted at least 90 hours in advance.
There is almost no association between earthquakes and solar activity," said Dr Paiboon Nuannin, physics lecturer at Prince of Songkla University's faculty of science
Paiboon Nuannin, physics lecturer at Prince of Songkla University's faculty of science, said some people predicted solar activity will trigger massive earthquakes on Friday.
"That is not true," he said.
Only six recorded earthquakes in history have been matched with solar activities, he said, pointing out that dozens of earthquakes measuring between 4 and 6 on the Richter scale are recorded around the world every day.
"It can therefore be concluded that there is almost no association between earthquakes and solar activity," he said.
opposite – a person or thing that is as different as possible from somebody/something else ตรงกันข้าม
faculty – a group of departments in a college or university which specialise in a particular subject or group of subjects คณะ
forum – a place where people can express their ideas and opinions การประชุมแสดงความคิดเห็น
solar – involving the sun เกี่ยวกับดวงอาทิตย์
maximum – the most possible ที่สูงสุด ที่มากที่สุด
play down – to discount; to try to make something seem less important or serious than it really is ลดความสำคัญ
doomsday – the last day of the world วันโลกาวินาศ, วาระสุดท้าย
prophecy – a statement that something will happen in the future การทำนาย, การพยากรณ์
calendar – a printed table showing all the days, weeks and months of the year ปฏิทิน
theory – one or more ideas that explain how or why something happens สมมติฐาน
debunk – to show that an idea, a belief, etc. is false; to show that something is not as good as people think it is แสดงให้เห็นว่าความคิดหรือความเชื่อนั้นผิด, หักล้างความคิด
evidence – facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง
forecast – a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now พยากรณ์
prediction – a statement about what you think will happen in the future คำพยากรณ์,คำทำนาย,การพยากรณ์
cycle – the fact of a series of events being repeated many times, always in the same order วงจร, วัฏจักร, ระยะเวลายาวนาน
fuel – to make something increase or become worse ทำให้รุนแรงขึ้น
spin (past form: spun) – to present information in a particular way
apocalypse – a situation causing very serious damage and destruction; the destruction of the world
range from – to include a variety of different things in addition to those mentioned ขยายออก, แบ่งประเภท
massive – very large in size, amount or number ใหญ่โต
widespread – happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
earthquake – a sudden shaking movement of the ground แผ่นดินไหว
geomagnetic – involving the magnetic (มีคุณสมบัติเป็นแม่เหล็ก) characteristics of the earth
disturbance – actions/events that upset the normal state that something is in การรบกวน, การทำให้ไม่สงบ
meteor – a piece of rock from outer space that makes a bright line across the night sky as it burns up while falling through the earth's atmosphere ดาวตก
trigger – to cause ก่อให้เกิด กระตุ้น
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
telecommunications – the science and technology of sending information by telephone, radio, or television โทรคมนาคม
blackout – a sudden loss of electrical power ไฟดับ
flare – a bright flame, in this case a disturbance from the sun, that burns for a short time การลุกไหม้อย่างรวดเร็วและสว่างไสว
satellite – an electronic device that is sent into space and moves around the earth or another planet. It is used for communicating by radio, television, etc. and for providing information ดาวเทียม
aviation – the flying of aircraft การบิน
in advance – before the time that is expected; before something happens ล่วงหน้า
association – a connection between two things การเชื่อมติดกัน
match – to be the same as or very similar to something else เท่าเทียมกันกับ, เท่ากันกับ
conclude – to decide that something is true after looking at all the evidence you have สรุป
About the author
- Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager